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Secret Confessions of Wound Care Done Imperfectly and/or Skipped

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  • Secret Confessions of Wound Care Done Imperfectly and/or Skipped

    Here is our opportunity to confess and receive absolution:
    for example, the vet said wound must be cold hosed/ soaked/ treated/etc. everyday......but you had a fever, or there was extreme weather, or got to the end of your rope and missed a day :-)

    Or, after a hard day at work said "I just can't deal with this tonight!"

  • #2
    Not on a new wound, but I have skipped on one that was healing well a time or two....


    • #3
      It really depends on the wound. Sometimes we treat wounds more to feel better for ourselves than because it helps. Sometimes it really helps and skipping it makes a real difference.

      I've been treating a long term wound on a sheep that has been stubbornly infected. I didn't fully treat it when we had the power out and an evacuation warning, and we'd been treating it for weeks already. I think this did negatively impact the healing, but it's true, this was all I could do that day. That said, it's "just a sheep" and no one cares that her ear is going to be permanently lumpy and mismatched. And by then we were less worried that the infection would migrate into scary new places.

      If it's a wound on a leg serious enough that you had the vet out, I'd be pretty religious about it especially early on, and get help if you need it. If it's healing well, been a while, and not near a joint maybe you're all good.

      Something that's wrapped may also need the more active care than something that is open.

      I'm sure that didn't help you at all, sorry!
      If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket


      • #4
        My mare had to have stitches in her neck. Vet that did them (not my normal vet, emergency vet at ~9pm) said to keep covered/sprayed with Alushield (to keep flies off). I did for two weeks, then I ran out of Alushield and it took me two days to get another can. In those two days I saw waaay more healing than I had seen the entire previous two weeks, so I just didn't spray it anymore. Healed up great.


        • #5
          Not on horses, but I treated two wounds that should have seen a vet.
          The first was when I fixed my dog with tape. Another dog bit his upper hind leg and left a gash in the skin about an inch long, but did not go into the muscle. It was Saturday night, and I was living on my own for the first time, so I clipped the hair, cleaned it, and sealed it shut with some electrical tape I had on hand. I fully intended to take him to the vet on Monday, but wanted to avoid emergency fees on the weekend. On Monday, I pulled off the tape to see how it looked, and the skin edges had completely healed back together. I never took him to the vet. In hindsight, I probably should have gotten him some antibiotics, but it all ended well.

          The second one was years later and on a chicken. Same sort of wound - another chicken had sliced open the skin on the back of her neck, but the underlying muscles were not involved. Not wanting to find a vet for a free chicken, I put a few stitches in with regular thread and a needle. It was not easy trying to keep a chicken neck still to do it, and with the rubbery feel of chicken skin, but I got 2 or 3 stitches in to hold the edges together. It happened when first introducing a new pullet, and she lived with her homemade stitch job until she was a barren old lady of 6.


          • #6
            Recently, was on the fence on whether or not to have the vet out for a leg wound. Small, surface cut on one leg and deep-ish cut on the other just below the knee. I cleaned it well the first day, turned to the internet and got freaked out by all the ‘proud flesh’ threads here and emphasis to tend to below the knee lacerations more urgently, but somehow still decided to continue cleaning and wrapping on my own (which came off every. single. day. because I apparently don’t really know how to wrap well). So by day three I gave up wrapping altogether, just cleaning once a day and applying wound cream until the week was up and then I just left it alone which turned out to speed up the healing. It was plain ugly at times but it has healed perfectly. I felt and still feel a hint of guilt for not calling the vet because it could’ve gone worse but something in me said that it would be fine.


            • #7
              I'm 6 months pregnant at the moment. Prior to getting pregnant, I was working full time while finishing full time grad school. To say the past couple years have been hectic would be the understatement of the century. I don't see things becoming less hectic anytime soon!

              I worked as a vet tech in a past career and am usually incredibly meticulous about injuries. But especially this past year, I just haven't been able to attend to stuff like usual. We moved onto an older farm about a year and a half ago that "came with" two extra, aged equines in addition to my three. The older farm, while safe, has a lot of inherently more dangerous things around: old concrete pads, low doorways, ancient wood with a billion nails (why so many nails in old buildings?!?). My point of saying all this is that even though it is a beautiful and well-maintained place, my horses have found no shortage of things to injure themselves on. "Oh hi Mom, did you realize you missed this really dangerous hazard? But don't worry, I found it for you!"

              I literally have not had the time or energy to treat some of these injuries like I would usually. As a result, they often get the bare minimum treatment necessary. But you know what? Everyone has lived. Dr. Green works wonders in many cases. By no means am I advocating neglect of injuries, but as my husband always says, horses survived for millions of years before humans started interfering. So be kind to yourself; we're all just doing the best we can.
              Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO


              • #8
                Just the opposite --I had a horse with a cut below the knee --vet said 10 min hosing AM and PM --I did it --but I called him to ask what I should do about the ice forming around the cut and on the leg as I hosed since it was -10 out ---he was quiet for a moment then said I probably shouldn't hose when it was that cold. Well, he SAID I should. Horse healed fine.


                • #9
                  My vet and I have an understanding about what he calls "client therapy". That means giving the client something to do because they feel the need to do something. It's harmless and won't hurt. He doesn't give me any client therapy. If he does tell me to do something, I do it because it's necessary.
                  "Argue for your limitations and you get to keep them."
                  -Richard S. Bach


                  • #10
                    Benign neglect often works SO WELL.

                    But this is a great place to admit that I recently managed to blister a horse with chlorhexidine ointment. Seriously?? Sigh.


                    • #11
                      Sure, I have one little nightmare for you that comes to mind. I live quite far away from veterinary assistance, and it is limited at the best of times. And I can not ship horses in snow, 2 wheel drive truck, and a steep driveway. This is a reality that we accepted when we moved here.

                      I had some minor belly surgery a few years ago, hernia repair, day surgery. The sides of my body wall were sewn back together, and I was sent home. The day after I came home, we went on a little trip to town, to the post office to pick up mail, gone for 20 minutes, a little outing for me. When we came home again, drove down the driveway past the paddock, the broodmare was stuck under the wire fence, fighting. With the fighting, she was ripping more and more of her hock open. It was February, and it was -25C with snow. The DH said to me, "You are NOT going out there, to pull that mare out of the fence". We both got out of the vehicle, and approached the situation for a closer look. He said he was going to go call some neighbours to help. As he sprinted up to the house to make the call, I realized that the mare was fighting on a regular rhythm. The electric wire (to encourage horses to stay away from the dam fence) was touching the fence somewhere, and she was fighting as she was receiving the regular shock. I yelled for him to come back, and shut the ticker box OFF! He did, and she quit fighting, lay still. The neighbours arrived, and we cut the fence apart, and got the mare up.

                      Her hock was "hamburger". You could see the tendons laid bare, and moving. I didn't think it was cut into the joint capsule, but the gaskin and front of the hock was really bad. Blood everywhere, ragged bits of muscle hanging out. The neighbour (being helpful) picked up the rest of the water bucket (NOT clean), and threw that onto the wound. (NOOOOOOOO!). Too late, it was done. No running water in hoses. No vet available. No ability to ship to a vet. And me not really very functional to do much of the work, and not needing to be kicked right at that moment either.

                      So I put her on penicillin and bute injections, which I keep on hand. And left it open. And she recovered. It healed up really well actually, came sound on it, left a small scar on the front of her hock. But that day was a nightmare day for everyone.


                      • #12
                        I always call the vet for a hoof abscess. But I do not always follow the full instructions. For instance, he will say to soak in hot Epsom salts twice a day, but I often only do it once a day, and sometimes skip a day completely. It has always healed fine.

                        chief feeder and mucker for Music, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now). Spy is gone. April 15, 1982 to Jan 10, 2019.


                        • #13
                          I'll play. My horse gets 24/7 turnout and can come in and out of her stall. She has 3-4 hay sources at any time (in field, hay bag in stall, more hay in manger thing, plus a bale I busted in the big aisleway to try to keep her inside and out of the mud.) Plus my pasture is still gorgeous and green.

                          About once every 2 weeks I'll get a late meeting and princess will not get her little grain handful/vitamin/alfalfa pellet mash that I feed her to get her supplements in. I will feel guilty as hell, but I'll do it.


                          • #14
                            I feel like when a horse is on a big clean pasture wounds will heal cleaner than if they are in a stall where they can't avoid getting manure and bedding on it. I think a lot of what you are doing with wound care is preventing infection from the filthy stall environment.

                            I also think any wound care routine that you are prescribed is the ideal and takes into account you might miss a time. But also you need some common sense about looking at what's going on and modifying if it is starting to be counter productive.

                            In our wet climate I have always preferred drying treatment for surface wounds. Yay BluKote gentian violet. I've seen people use moisturizing wound treatment and it seems to me those take forever to heal. It might be appropriate for large serious wounds, burns, or very dry climates.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by mmeqcenter View Post
                              My mare had to have stitches in her neck. Vet that did them (not my normal vet, emergency vet at ~9pm) said to keep covered/sprayed with Alushield (to keep flies off). I did for two weeks, then I ran out of Alushield and it took me two days to get another can. In those two days I saw waaay more healing than I had seen the entire previous two weeks, so I just didn't spray it anymore. Healed up great.
                              When you just need fly control, I really like the Catron IV spray. I learned about it from sheep and I've used it very successfully on sheep, chickens, and horses.
                              If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket


                              • #16
                                I had a cut to the front of the hock that was supposed to be cleaned, treated and re-wrapped daily for like a week. It couldn't be stitched due to the Y shape, vet figured the center triangle would likely die during healing. No joint involvement. The vet's wrap job wouldn't even stay up a full 24 hours, pony decided he was feral about me handling the leg and it became clear that heavy sedation would be the only way wrap changes (nevermind cleaning or treating) could happen.

                                I made an executive decision after it took me over half an hour to get the vet's wrap off. I smeared it with raw, organic honey (buckwheat honey, in case anyone wondered! ) 2-3 times a day for weeks, no wrap. I was able to slap it on fast and get out of the way while pony got to throw his hissy fit. He was already on Bute and antibiotics so continued with those.

                                It healed magnificently. Never had to deal with excess granular tissue at all, it just filled itself in and closed up. He has a very minor scar from it, and was never lame at all. To be clear, not wrapping was the only direction I didn't follow; vet and I had discussed honey as a wound dressing, and I'd have called him instantly if anything looked worse. I am confident that my vet would have been totally fine with my course of action. I have progress pics of it somewhere, week to week.


                                • #17
                                  My turn- mare had her ear shredded into 3 pieces. Vet sutured and prescribed cold hosing and cleaning 3 times daily then applying antibiotic cream. Have you ever tried to cold hose an EAR?? This mare was rather reactive at the best of times and was not about to be co-operative with this wound care. Twitching helped but it was still a 3 person job, with luck we got it done twice a day. After 1 week I gave up, and left it. Two pieces healed together quite well and the third we trimmed off when she was tranked to get the stitches out. Surprisingly it didn't look too bad, most people didn't notice.


                                  • #18
                                    Years ago I had a mare pierce the fleshy part of the outer nostril with one of those C shaped hooks for hanging buckets. At first she sort of freaked out with the bucket hanging off her face. She stopped for me to remove it. Had a hole in the flesh that I could poke my finger through. I didn't bother call the vet. Cleaned it up myself and it closed up and healed fine on it's own


                                    • #19
                                      I had a horse slice through the skin above one eye right to the bone. I literally did nothing to it except look at it and it healed perfectly to a thin scar.

                                      It was winter when he did it, and at the time the temperature was so cold only a tiny trickle of blood came out - that's why I could see the bone without cleaning it or anything. When it's that cold and everything is snow covered it's a very clean environment for wounds so I didn't disturb it with cleaning. By the next day his face around the cut had swollen up which pushed the cut edges back together. Again I did nothing but look, and by the time the swelling went down the cut had closed up.

                                      That injury would have required sedation for cleaning, and probably stitches had it been any other time of year.


                                      • #20
                                        In April, I was away for a weekend and my dad was checking on horses for me. Sometime between his visit Saturday and Sunday, one of my geldings rubbed against tree a little too aggressively and acquired a minor puncture wound on his neck. He sent me a picture, I was like, meh its a long way from his heart and he's a bad patient so I'll deal with it when I get home tonight.

                                        I roll up about 8 pm just as it's getting dark, call horse and he comes hobbling across pen like he was missing a leg. I immediately imagine my bank account drain. Catch him and discover a golf ball size lump of pus and ooze dried to the side of his neck. Get out my headlamp and a bucket of warm water and work at cleaning it up. As soon as I got the worst of the ooze off, he totally perked up. He was in more discomfort from this stuff drying on his skin and pulling his hair then he was the wound. I flushed it out best I could and packed it full of Dermagel. It had much improved the next day and I cleaned it once more and treated again with Dermagel. By the third day, it had scabbed over and was drying out. I never touched it again and within a couple weeks, you'd never have known it was there. I will admit part of my motivation to leave it alone was that horse was a TERRIBLE patient and was a beast to treat even a minor scratch.

                                        I'm a big believer in 'managed neglect' for minor wounds and my policy is once there's a scab, leave it alone.